CASPER, Wyo. — Jessi Combs set a women’s land speed record, becoming the “Fastest Woman on 4-wheels” for reaching a speed of 440 mph in a jet-powered race car in 2013.
She broke her own record twice. In 2016, she reached a top speed of 447.59 mph and in 2018 bested that with a top speed of 483.227 mph.
Combs died in a fatal crash on Aug. 27, while attempting to set a new record.
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“It is with extreme grief, and in celebration of her life that her family and close friends share that race car driver, and TV personality Jessi Combs, passed away in a fatal crash, as she pursued setting a land speed record in the North American Eagle on August, 27th 2019 on a dry lake bed in Oregon,” a press release posted to Combs’ Real Deal Revolution website states.
Combs’ was also a television personality, appearing on shows such as “Mythbusters,” “Xtreme 4×4” on Spike TV and hosting “Full Metal TV,” according to her website.
Her start in television has roots in her education at WyoTech in Laramie. While she was at school there in 2004, an episode of “Overhaulin’,” a show on The Learning Channel, was filmed in Laramie and Combs made an appearance.
“She had an energy and passion for cars,” said Kyle Morris, WyoTech’s director of operations. “We were really saddened to lose her.”
While Combs was a student at WyoTech, Morris was working in student services at the school.
“She was the first student activities president I worked with,” he said, adding that she did a lot to support her classmates and brought a drive and energy to the campus.
Combs studied “Collision/Refinishing, Chassis Fabrication, Street Rod Fabrication, and Trim/Upholstery, graduating at the top of her class with a degree in Custom Automotive Fabrication” from WyoTech, her bio states.
Morris says he thinks she always loved cars but as her career progressed, “The passion for racing really took over.”
“I think that Jessi had an amazing career path,” he added. “We’re happy to have played a small role in that.”
“And Jessi is a role model not just for being a female in the industry, but for the industry as a whole. We are very saddened on campus to have lost her.”
Combs was born in Rapid City, South Dakota.
“Jessi’s bright smile, positivity, and tenacious pursuit of her dreams inspired everyone who met her,” the press release following her crash states. “Her drive and spirit were infectious, and she served as a role model for young girls and women around the world. People that loved her and followed her became family, all bonded together by adventure and passion.”
“Her fans adored her, and she lived to inspire them. Jessi’s most notable dream was to become the fastest woman on Earth, a dream she had been chasing since 2012. Combs was one of the rare dreamers with the bravery to turn those possibilities into reality, and she left this earth driving faster than any other woman in history.”
Jessi is survived by her Mother Nina (Chuck, niece NIna Alayne) Darrington, Father Jamie (Sandy) Combs, brother Kelly Combs (Cary, Eli, Ethan and Anna), sisters Danielle Theis (Jacin, Justice, Nation), Brother Austin Darrington (Leah, Lane) Kayla Green, Kyrie Darrington, Natasha Darrington, Step sisters Rebekah Hall (son Aaren Kearns), Arielle Hall (son Dru Hanson), and Jessi‘s love Terry Madden and his son Dalton.Real Deal Revolution press release